SOLITUDES and GLOBALIZATION: Post-World War II Art and Culture Across the Americas

Please register by email at

16 – 17 March 2007  9:30 – 5:00pm

While the accelerating pace of globalization over the last several decades has enabled an unprecedented movement of people and cultural practice across Canada, the United States, and the countries of Latin America, there has been little intellectual exchange about the visual and cultural realms across this same geography. A constellation of both well-established and emerging scholars is scattered throughout regions such as Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Guatemala, Mexico, Canada, Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean whose work interrogates the complexities of modern cultural production in the Americas.  The points that make up this constellation, however, remain largely isolated from one another. This situation calls for a more powerful form of exchange: a sustained discussion of ideas to question assumptions and produce knowledge across the Americas.

It is crucial, in our view, to reassert the cultural outline of the Americas as a subject of inquiry and a space of intellectual dialogue and debate.
The purpose of this two-day conference, international and interdisciplinary in scope, is to interrogate and historicize interactions and to examine gaps across the cultural terrain of the Americas from the period that stretches from post-Second World War “reconstruction” to the present, and to explore how globalization has impacted (and in turn is impacted by) the visual arts.

In the interest of predicting audience numbers, we ask that you please indicate your desire to attend the conference by responding to the following email


  • Friday 16 March 2007

9:30 am Serge Guilbaut: Welcome and Opening Comments Professor, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia                                         

10:00 am Philip Resnick: North America as a Subject of Reflection Professor, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia                                                            

10:45 am Juan Gaitán: Parallel and Meridian Utopias Ph.D. candidate, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia                                        

11:30 am Charlotte Townsend-Gault: Xa’:ytem – Feeling the Fantasy Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia              

12:15 pm Lunch                                                                                                        

1:30 pm John O’Brian: Love in a Time of Solitude: The Family of Man Exhibition, 1955-1962
Professor, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia

2:15 pm Diana B. Wechsler: Curatorial Stories, Political Stories Researcher of the National Council of Science (CONICET) and Professor of Sociology of Art, University of Buenos Aires

3:00 pm  Coffee Break

3:15 pm Chantal Pontbriand: TBA Art critic and curator, editor and founder of Parachute

4:00 pm Pablo Helguera: Mapping the Republic of Contemporary Art (Notes from the Panamerican Highway) Independent visual artist, New York and Mexico

4:45 pm Discussion

  • Saturday 17 March 2007

9:30 am Patricia Marchak: Latin America and the United States: Changes in their Relationships Interim Director, Liu Institute for Global Issues, Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Dean Emerita, Faculty of Arts, University of British Columbia

10:00 am Thomas Cummins: TBA Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art, Harvard University

10:45 am William Wood: Death and Humiliation in the Canadian Cultural Revolution Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia

11:30 am Paul Chaat Smith: Thirty-Five Years Burning Down the Road Curator, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C.

12:15 pm  Lunch

1:30 pm Marcia Crosby: Indian Art Nerds in Vancouver: Marcia Crosby, Rebecca Belmore, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Warren Arcan, and Daina Warren University-College Professor, First Nations Studies, Malaspina University College

2:15 pm Monika Kin Gagnon: Cultural Memory and Charles Gagnon’s R-69 Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Concordia University

3:00 pm Coffee Break

3:15 pm Martha Rosler: TBA Visual artist and Professor of Visual Arts, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

4:00 pm Richard Cavell and Jamie Hilder: Designed Words for a Designed World Professor and graduate student, Department of English, University of British Columbia

5:15 pm Discussion and Wrap Up

Organized by Serge Guilbaut, Kimberly Phillips and William Wood  A project of the Green College Interdisciplinary Academic Support Fund, with financial assistance from the UBC Office of Research Services, the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Department of Art History and Visual Art